9 things to do with your kids in Tampa Bay before school starts

Children play in the Glazer Children's Museum's Publix exhibit that sneaks in lessons on math, nutrition and planning in a kid-sized grocery store.
 Photo courtesy Glazer Children's Museum
Children play in the Glazer Children's Museum's Publix exhibit that sneaks in lessons on math, nutrition and planning in a kid-sized grocery store. Photo courtesy Glazer Children's Museum
Published August 6 2018
Updated August 6 2018

Soon, parents will silently experience a bit of inner joy, but for kids, it’s time to prepare to hit the books again. School will be back in session by mid-August. The good news, kids and parents? There’s still time to eke out the last of summer’s fun. From sports to movies and museums, here’s a sampling of family-friendly activities we found, including some deals to make it easier on the wallet.

Free Golfing for Kids

Tired of your kids being in the house all summer? Get them outside, physically active and possibly interested in a new sport.

Kids 5 to 15 can hop off their electronic devices and onto the golf course with one free bucket of range balls and free golfing with one paid adult. 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily through Aug. 31. Plantation Palms Golf Club, 23253 Plantation Blvd., Land O’Lakes. (813) 996-7122. plantationpalms.net.

Kids 15 and younger can join a paying adult for one free round of golf on the First Tee of Clearwater’s "Junior Tee’s," which provide shortened, manageable distances for children. 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Sept. 1. Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club, 3030 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 726-4673.

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Summer Series

Curtis Hixon Park has turned into a 12,000-square-foot shaded play wonderland focusing on fitness and interactive adventures. Free. Rotating daily activities include live animals and animal education by ZooTampa at Lowry Park (today), baby exercise by Fit4Mom Parent (Friday), kids fitness classes by the YMCA (Saturday), open play all day (Sunday), music presentations by the Barrett School of Music (Monday), kid-friendly recipes by Salt Block Catering (Tuesday) and craft activities by the Hillsborough County Library (Wednesday). Special activities begin at 9 a.m. and 2 and 6 p.m. today and Saturday-Wednesday and 9 a.m. and 2 and 5 p.m. Friday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (262) 939-9908. tampasdowntown.com.

Family Movies in Historic Theaters

Families can experience a bit of Tampa Bay history as they watch movies in two renovated area landmarks.

As part of the summer Hollywood Classic Series, Tampa Theatre invites to 1939’s The Wizard of Oz (Aug. 26). (You can remind the kids that Tampa Theatre is old enough that it showed The Wizard of Oz on its first run.) $10. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982. tampatheatre.org.

In conjunction with Ruth Eckerd Hall’s 2018-19 Broadway Season, the historic Capitol Theatre presents movie versions of the Broadway musicals. Next up is Lion King (Aug. 11). $5. Upgrade to $9 for unlimited fountain drinks and popcorn. 3 p.m. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

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Tampa Bay Rays Kids Deal

With the announcement of a new stadium, the Rays are a hot topic now. Here’s a chance to take the family to see a game at a reasonable price. Every Tuesday the Rays play at home is $2 Tuesday, with kids 14 and younger getting in for $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. Also, hot dogs are $2. 7:10 p.m. Aug. 7. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Toll-free 1-888-326-7297. mlb.com/rays.

Stay and Play

Teens can gather with friends to party until midnight at select city of Tampa recreation centers through Aug. 8. Programs include fitness classes, swimming classes, athletic training/leagues, Girls Fun Fridays, musical productions, computer classes, anger management and more. Food and transportation home will be provided when available. Free. 6 p.m.-midnight nightly through Aug. 8. Copeland Park and Recreation Center, Cyrus Greene Community Center, DeSoto Community Center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Williams Park Activity Center, Grant Park Activity Center, Gwendolyn Miller Community Center, Jackson Heights Community Center and Springhill Community Center. tampagov.net.

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Free Tuesday at Glazer

Want something low dough and cultural? The hands-on museum and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County join for this event offering free play in all galleries, on all floors. Free. Noon-7 p.m. Aug. 7. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. glazermuseum.org.

St. Pete Shuffle

Families can end the summer with an old-fashioned game of shuffleboard. Well-behaved dogs are welcome and all equipment is supplied. Instruction is available. $2, members free. 7-10 p.m. Fridays. Mirror Lake Shuffleboard Club, 559 Mirror Lake Drive N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-2083. stpeteshuffle.com.